Album Reviews

The Wildhearts – Coupled With

(Gut) UK release date: 29 March 2004

The Wildhearts - Coupled With For those of you who think British rock owes anything more than a slight nod of the head in Justin Hawkins’ direction, there is one much, much greater, who has been battling it out on the front line of the underground for longer than a lot of you little Darklings have been alive!

The undisputed king of the British rock scene (yes Libertines fans there is something called rock, and you ain’t it!) is of course the legend that is Ginger!

Unlike Prince, Sting or Madonna, this hero hasn’t had to use symbols, the rainforest, or his body (thank heaven!) to gain his fame. Nay, he chose the blood sweat and tears route, which runs a little something like this: he founded and has fronted The Wildhearts for over 13 years, who’ve released 10 albums in the UK, not to mention uncountable Far Eastern editions and EPs.

As if that wasn’t enough, the man with the dreads of red ALSO found time to create and subsequently rock out with side projects such as Silver Ginger 5, Supersh*t 666 and Clam Abuse.

History lesson over, let us discuss Coupled With, officially an album of “post-reformation” B-sides, which opens with self-funded single Stormy In The North, Karma In The South – a Top 20 “hit” late in ’03.

From the aforementioned opener, which is quite frankly the most beautiful rock song I have heard in months, to the novel but brilliantly covered Cheers theme, and onto the infectious People That Life Forgot which I played on repeat for far too long, the melody is unparalleled, the tunes unrivalled and the energy simply vessel-bursting.

The darker melodies of 6:30 onwards will stick in your head much longer than anything The Darkness could cook up; somewhat ironic then that The Wildhearts are supporting the newbie sham, I mean glam artists across The Pond this Summer.

If you’re not familiar with the most notorious group to spew out of Britain since The Sex Pistols, Coupled With is a great place to start. Go buy it now and bring on the recognition that the most hard working group in Britain deserve.

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